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"I have strenuously argued for larger troop numbers in Iraq, including the right kind of troops -- linguists, special forces, civil affairs, etc.," said McCain, R-Ariz. "There are very strong differences of opinion between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld on that issue."Sen. McCain is notorius for speaking his mind, a refreshing characteristic that many folks find appealing, even if they don't agree with him. Many see him as a front runner for the 2008 presidential nomination.
"Some critics have alleged that Florida's majority vote for President Bush was flawed. The Herald counted the votes in three North Florida counties and found little discrepancy."The main trouble is that most liberals don't understand southern Democrats. Zell Miller is not an aberration.
"A state official in Illinois is proposing a 6% tax on face lifts and other cosmetic procedures to finance $1 billion in stem cell research over 10 years.A nip-tuck tax ....
"Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes wants the so-called 'nip-tuck tax' proposal put on the ballot as a referendum in 2006. If approved by voters, it could undermine Wisconsin's position in the Midwest and nation in a potentially promising new scientific field. (emphasis mine)"
"[Pollster John] Zogby was concerned about the difference between some of the exit polls (surveys of individuals who have just cast ballots) and the official vote counts. 'We're talking about the Free World here,' he pointedly noted."Apparently we still think that polls are more accurate than the actual vote. I understand that exit polls are used in other countries to test whether an election might have fradulent results (compare the recent Ukrainian elections), but observe that there were also reports of widespread irregularies, something not yet thought by many in the US.
"His comments came shortly after Ukraine's Central Election Commission announced that Yanukovych, whose candidacy was backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, won the runoff with 49.46 percent of the vote, defeating pro-Western opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, who was said to have received 46.61 percent. Exit polls on election day had put Yushchenko well ahead, and U.S. and European observers said there were widespread irregularities (emphasis mine)."There were no widespread irregularities in the vote three weeks ago, some isolated problems, yes, but nothing widespread. Even though 80% of Americans believe the election was legitimate, though the anti-Bush forces are lobbying hard.
"John Zogby, meanwhile, was more concerned about the short end of another poll this week -- one that indicated that about four in five Americans thought President Bush had been legitimately elected three weeks ago. 'But, Keith, 20 percent don't think the president is legitimate. And worse yet, if you take the other half, those that didn't vote for him, about half of the other side doesn't think the president is legitimate. That just hasn't existed for a long, long time in our system. We need to restore, I think, some semblance of legitimacy and honor to the system.(emphasis again mine)' "Bush will never be considered a legitimate president by those on the left. The only way this election (as well as the 2000 election) would be considered legitimate is if Kerry (or Gore) would have won. Of course these same people who think the exit polls are sooo accurate forget that most of the final polls before election day had Bush leading. They really need to make up their minds.
"Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season Sunday, and two of his Indiana Pacers teammates must miss a total of 55 games for fighting with fans during a melee that broke out at the end of a game against the Detroit Pistons.Ouch. We haven't heard the last however.
"Overall, the NBA issued some of the harshest penalties in its history by banning nine players for more than 140 games. Artest's suspension is the strongest ever levied for a fight during a game.
"...All of the suspensions are without pay. Artest will lose approximately $5 million in salary, while O'Neal's suspension will cost him nearly 25 percent of his $14.8 million salary for the current season."
"Players union director Billy Hunter, calling the penalties excessive, said an appeal would be filed with Stern on Monday."The agents of the players involved, other players andthe Pacers' owner also said the suspensions were excessive.
"Pacers co-owner Herb Simon said he did not condone the fight, but 'we do consider the action taken Sunday by the National Basketball Association to be unprecedented and inappropriate based on the circumstances.' "I don't think the suspensions are excessive, but hopefully some of the Detroit fans don't escape punishment of some sort. Security was increased at the Piston game today with Charlotte.
"While Sylvester's comments have raised objections, the reaction has not yet reached the level of response to Milwaukee radio personality Mark Belling's use of the term 'wetbacks' in a reference to undocumented Mexican immigrants. Under pressure, several businesses pulled their advertising from Belling's show, and he was taken off the air for a week.It's Belling's too. People ask how you can stop the vitriol. You can't. Not until the polarizing voices on both sides become unpopular.
"Sylvester said he disagreed with Belling's statement but supported his right to say what he thought.
" 'I don't like censorship, and I don't like boycotts,' Sylvester said. 'The fact that I'm getting a lot of attention on this . . . that's my job.' "(emphasis mine)
"The NBA suspended Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson of Indiana and Ben Wallace of Detroit on Saturday for taking part in one of the ugliest brawls in U.S. sports history. The suspensions were indefinite, and the league was still investigating Friday night's melee, which commissioner David Stern called 'shocking, repulsive and inexcusable - a humiliation for everyone associated with the NBA.'"Then Saturday afternoon, a fight broke out in the South Carolina-Clemson football game.
" Players from South Carolina and Clemson brawled late in the game Saturday, with 67-year-old coach Lou Holtz diving into the pile as peacemaker in his regular-season finale with the Gamecocks.Whew!
'That's the first time that ever happened to me during a game,' Holtz said."
"...Freedom of Speech is a long and cherished right by everyone in America. A recent holiday commemorated the many men and women who spilled blood and gave their lives so that this and other freedoms would not be stamped out.
"Mark Belling was wrong to use the word he used. Many have stated that. People who are in the public eye and expect to have their opinions taken seriously need to be careful in their speech. And, no doubt, he exacerbated the situation with his initial apologies.
"But the quote from Voltaire that began the recent Freeman editorial has summed up American feelings for over 200 years. Those who disagree with Belling have a simple recourse. Don't read his column, listen to his radio show, or watch his TV program.
"But censorship of speech is just a bad idea. One that I am glad the Freeman is not a part of. One that I hope the TV and radio stations involved will cease being part of."
"CBS News has fired the producer responsible for breaking into 'CSI: NY' last week for a special report on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, a CBS executive said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity."
"Fact: A whole lot of people voted to re-elect President Bush.That's a relief!! Not!!
Evaluation: Those people were wrong.
Inference: These people are stupid.
Now, I don't have any problem with the evaluation of wrongness here. If you can look at that first presidential term and come up with re-election as the right thing to do, then perhaps you also thought the Vietnam years really were the wonder years.
But I'm hearing that inference of stupidity a lot these days in various permutations. We shouldn't go there, if for no other reason than what goes around comes around. No, not stupid. But counterintuitive? You bet."
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